Lirac: Domaine Maby 'La Fermade' Rouge 2018
The red Lirac 'La Fermade' from Domaine Maby is an under-rated Châteauneuf'-style blend that is the quintessential fireside red wine. Made from Rhône staples Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, this warming red is packed with briary garrigue berry scents and flavours with a touch of violets, earthy undertones and rugged tannins. It too is a dependable crowd-pleaser offering more depth and complexity than most Côtes-du-Rhône without the price tag of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Just across the Rhône to the west of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Lirac is one of the most southerly Rhône Crus. Sharing similar soils to Châteauneuf' including its famous galets roulés, it has been an appellation since 1947, though viticulture in the area goes back to at least the 16th century if not long before. 'La Fermade' refers to a previously-wooded plot that was cleared and replanted with Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Picquepoul in the 1970s. Those vines, now fully mature, produce low yields of intense fruit with good acidity.
2018's 'La Fermade' returns to its usual blend of 55% Grenache, 35% Syrah and the balance from Mourvèdre, after 2017's low-Grenache blend (hit badly by coulure). Juicy berry fruit, floral violets, peppery cardamom and a lingering finish. Pair with a rich beef daube, spicy Merguez sausages or chanterelle mushrooms with black garlic.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Lirac|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Syrah|
|Food & Wine Matching||Beef, Charcuterie|
|Cellarage||Will age well for a decade from vintage.|
|Vinification||Cold-soaked for a few days before fermentation begins to extract as much fruit as possible from the grapes. Fermentation takes places over 3 weeks to slowly extract the supple tannins. The wine is vinified in modern thermo-regulated stainless steel vats before maturing separately by grape. Syrah and Grenache are kept in concrete tanks to preserve their fruit whereas Mourvèdre has some time in oak to moderate its tannins. After blending, it is matured for up to two years in bottle before release.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||14.5|
At Domaine Maby, third generation Rhône winemaker Richard Maby has injected fresh impetus to the family’s 60 hectare estate since relinquishing his job at the Paris Bourse in 2005 and returning to the vineyards of his home. The Maby family and Domaine have a long history of wine-making in Lirac and Tavel, and Richard’s grandfather, Armand, was the Mayor of Tavel. Now making wine under 4 appellations, Lirac, Tavel, Côtes du Rhône and the Coteaux de Cèze, Domaine Maby farm using sustainable agriculture principles to promote biodiversity and reduce CO2 emissions. This was recognized when Richard was named one of the Winemakers of the Year in the 2021 Guide Hachette des Vins.
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